How Many Maneuver Brigades Does the U.S. Have?

The U.S. Army has 10 divisions, one spare division headquarters (7th U.S. Division), three corps headquarters (I, III, XVIII Airborne Corps) and one (or seven) army headquarters (First Army). The U.S. Marine Corps has three divisions.

The norm is that a U.S. Division has three maneuver brigades, one artillery brigade and one combat aviation brigade. A number of our divisions have two maneuver brigades with a third one often being a national guard brigade. Let us count up the number of active duty maneuver brigades were currently have:

……………………………….Armored..Stryker..Infantry..Artillery..Aviation..Sustainment

Unit…………………………..Bde………..Bde…….Bde………Bde……..Bde……….Bde

1st Armored Division………..2…………..1………………………1…………..1……………1

1st Cavalry Division…………3…………………………………….1…………..1……………1

1st Infantry Division…………2…………………………………….1…………..1……………1

2nd/7th Infantry Division………………….2…………0 + 1……..1…………..1……………1

3rd Infantry Division…………2……………………….0 + 1……..1…………..1……………1

4th Infantry Division…………1…………..1………….1………….1…………..1……………1

10th Mountain Division………………………………..2 + 1……..1…………..1……………1

25th Infantry Division……………………..1………….3………….1…………..1……………1

82nd Airborne Division………………………………..3………….1…………..1……………1

101st Airborne Division……………………………….3………….1…………..1……………1

2nd Cavalry Rgt……………………………1

3rd Cavalry Rgt…………………………….1

3rd Infantry Brigade……………………………………1

173rd Airborne Bde…………………………………….1

75th Ranger Rgt………………………………………..1

5 Special Forces Groups……………………………..(5)

1st Marine Division…………………………………….4…………..1………….1……………1

2nd Marine Division……………………………………4…………..1………….1……………1

3rd Marine Division…………………………………….2…………..1………….1……………1

Total…………………………10……………7…………25 + 3……13………..13………….13

 

So, the total count is 42 maneuver brigades (not counting the national guard brigades). The +3 Infantry Brigades are national guard brigades. For the sake of simplicity, are infantry-like units (airborne, marines expeditionary brigades, marine regiments, ranger regiments, etc.) are counted as infantry brigades. The two cavalry regiments are counted as Stryker brigades. The three Marine air wings are counted at aviation brigades. The Marine artillery regiments are counted as artillery brigades. Not counted are the five special forces groups, which each consist of 4 battalions and tend to be 3,000-4,000 strong.

An armored brigade in 2014 has 4,743 troops (90 Abrams tanks, 90 Bradley IFVs and 112 M-113s), A Stryker brigade in 2014 has 4,500 troops and 300+ Strykers. An Infantry brigade in 2014 has 4,413 troops. The 75th Ranger Regiment has 3,623 personnel authorized. A Marine Regiment has around 4,900 personnel. The Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is around 2,200 personnel and there are one to three MEUs in each of the three Marine Expeditionary Brigades.

The National Guard has:

……………………………Armored..Stryker..Infantry..Artillery..Aviation..Sustainment

Unit…………………………Bde……….Bde…….Bde………Bde……..Bde……..Bde

28th Infantry Division……………………..1…………1…………………….1

29th Infantry Division………..1………………………2…………………….1

34th Infantry Division………..2………………………2…………………….1

35th Infantry Division………………………………….3…………………….1

36th Infantry Division………..1………………………3 + 1…………………1

38th Infantry Division………..1…………..,………….2

40th Infantry Division………………………………….3……………………..1

42nd Infantry Division…………………………………2……………………..1

Total……………………………5…………..1……….18+1………………….7

4th Marine Division (reserve)…………………………2………….1………..1

The +1 is the regular army 3rd infantry brigade, which is listed above.

So the National Guard and Marine reserve has 29 maneuver brigades (counting the three assigned to regular army units and not counting the regular army unit assigned to the 36th Infantry Division) and 8 combat aviation brigades and Marine Corps air wings. There are also two national guard special forces groups.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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2 Comments

  1. From a Field Artillery perspective, referring to the current Division Artillery construct as an Artillery BDE overstates the force structure involved. DIVARTY was recreated during GEN Odierno’s tenure as CSA to refocus the the FA branch on its core competencies (as well as providing multiple field grade slots and increasing the FA COL pool’s competitiveness for BG . . . ), while adding no additional force structure. Effectively, the maneuver BDEs’ artillery BNs were given a second HQ to report to, some of the time. That seems to be changing with the addition of more rocket BNs to the Army, but I would hesitate to call the DIVARTYs much more than an artillery headquarters until they gain some organic BNs.

    The only units that exist as separate artillery BDEs worth the name are the rocket-centric Field Artillery Brigades at the corps level.

  2. What is the significance of breaking out National Guard units from active duty? Since the Army went modular in the early 2000’s, units in all compos (generally) have the same organization and usually have the same equipment.

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